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Climate Model Simulations

The course introduces knowledge about climate models and how are they used to understand the climate change due to human activity and natural variation.

Exempel på klimatmodellsimulering
Proxy data show that 6000 years before present day, Sahara was green, what was climate during “Green Sahara” period? We can do an experiment with climate model by replacing the Sahara dearest with a vegetated Sahara. The pictures above show that mot only Sahara would be warmer, but also the Arctic region became warmer (left picture)? Why? This is because warming of Sahara led to chang of temperature gradient between Arctic and lower latitudes, led to a positive NAO-like circulation pattern (right picture), thus bring more warm air from lower latitudes to high latitudes.

The students will learn the climate forcings under different climatic conditions, from past, present and future, as well as climate response to these forcings. The course includes practical exercise on spatial and temporal analysis of output from climate model simulations.

The course is part (elective course) of the Master's Programme in Polar Landscapes and Quaternary Climate but can also be read as a separate course.

Planned teaching (methods) for the course, linked to Covid-19 and the Swedish Public Health Agency's recommendations, will be presented at the Department's website on February 28.  

  • Course structure

    The course includes practical exercise on spatial and temporal analysis of output from climate model simulations.


    1. Climate Models, Experiment Design and Data Analysis, 3 credits
    2. Project, 4.5 credits

    Teaching format

    Instruction consists of lectures, seminars, exercises and project work. 


    For details see syllabus.


    Qiong Zhang

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Goosse H., P.Y. Barriat, W. Lefebvre, M.F. Loutre and V. Zunz, (2008-2010). Introduction to climate dynamics and climate modeling. 

    Available at

  • Contact

    Registration is normally done at the beginning of each semester. 

    Student office
    Kerstin Hörnby

    Study counsellor
    Maria Damberg

    Course responsible
    Qiong Zhang